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Showing posts from May 27, 2016

Story of Guha, the Boatman in the Ramayana

Guha is the king of fisher folk and it is he who ferries Bhagavan Sri Ram, Mata Sita and Lakshman across the river on the first day of their exile period in the Ramayana. Guha, the boatman, who heard about the exile immediately, asked Sri Ram to stay with him. But Bhagavan told him that during exile period he cannot stay in a human settlement. Guha then offered to cook some food. But Sri Ram told him that he cannot eat cooked food as during exile he can only eat what he gets from forest. Guha then asked to take him as a servant. This was also denied as hermits they cannot have servants. Finally, Guha took out his boat into the waters. He ferried them across to the other side to the starting of Dandaka forest. Bhagavan then instructed Guha not to ferry anyone else across the river for the rest of the day. He did not want anyone to follow them into the forest. Guha is an important character in Bhakti literature. Bhagavan Sri Ram treated him as a friend and with respect.

Hiranyakeshi Dharmasutra

Hiranyakeshi Dharmasutra belongs to the Taittiriya Shaka of Krishna Yajurveda. It is part of Hiranyakeshi Kalpa. It is a textbook on rules of conduct and religious and civil law. The text is credited to Satyasadha Hiranyakeshi and is believed to have been composed during 2nd century AD. It forms the 26th and 27th prasnas of Hiranyakeshi Kalpa. It is also not an independent work as many of the rules found in the book is found in other Dharmasutra texts. What makes Hiranyakeshi Dharmasutra an important work in later Vedic literature is that it may be taken as the oldest proof for checking the authenticity of the text of Apastamba. Srauta Sutra or Apastamba belongs to the Taittiriya Shaka of Krishna Yajurveda. The text is concerned with the rules, duties and responsibilities about the conduct of the people as the members of a family, society or a kingdom. It also deals with marriage, sacraments, brahmacharin, etc.